Once you have got through the stressful phase of job interviews, and your new employer has made you an offer, then you need to check the details of the employment contract before you can get to work. Below is an overview of the main aspects of work contracts in the Netherlands.
Types of employment contracts in the Netherlands
There is a variety of employment agreements for employees in the Netherlands, with temporary and permanent contracts being the most common.
Temporary labour contract (tijdelijk contract)
A temporary contract is for a specific period of time, such as six months or one year, with a pre-determined end date. A dismissal procedure is not required to terminate a temporary contract at the end of its duration.
As of July 1, 2015, employees who have worked with an employer on temporary contracts for at least two years are entitled to a permanent contract if the work agreement continues. This is known at the ketenregeling (chain rule). The previous time frame was three years.
Also, an employee cannot have more than three temporary contracts with the same employer in a row. If a fourth contract is offered then it must be a permanent one.
Permanent labour contract (vast contract)
A permanent contract is for an indeterminate period of time with no end date. This type of contract can only be terminated if the employee resigns (e.g. found another job in the Netherlands or abroad) or if the employer finds reason to end the contract (which must comply with strict legal guidelines).
Contract with a recruitment agency (uitzendcontract)
A contract with a recruitment agency (uitzendbureau) is a less common form of labour contract. You enter an agreement with a recruitment agency whereby they are your legal employer and salary provider even though you will be working for a third party. It is important to note that in such contracts there is limited protection against dismissal.